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Professional Responsibility/Liability

Professional Responsibility/Liability

Professional Responsibility/Liability

I am wondering what responsibility I have to notify regulators of an adverse condition at a medical facility. The situation is that about 8 yrs ago I did an electrical study of a hospital that included short circuit,protection,coordination and arc flash, The hospital has 4 emergency generators connected to an emergency bus with 7 breakers that go to the ATS's. During the coordination, I found that 4 emergency generator breakers were set lower than the 7 feeder breakers such that a fault on any one of the feeder circuits would trip off all emergency generators before the specific faulted feeder breaker tripped. This would lead to a complete loss of power in the facility.

I updated the report last year due to some new construction and incorporated the new utility fault currents. I also requested verification of any of the recommended changes from the previous report including the emergency generator breaker setpoint changes. I was told that no changes were made.

Since this is obviously not a desirable condition and does not meet code, what obligation am I under to report this to the regulators if the hospital does not seem to want to make any changes?

Obviously, I am a PE in the state where this study was done.

RE: Professional Responsibility/Liability

A hospital's electrical system suffering a complete failure in an emergency situation appears, to me, to be a a clear and present danger to the lives of the people being cared for in that hopsital. This could be, potentially, thousands of patients.

Quote (wbd)

Obviously, I am a PE in the state where this study was done.

Seems to me that you're duty bound to report this condition to whatever authority has the power to force them to be code compliant.

RE: Professional Responsibility/Liability

Why do they not want to update the settings?

RE: Professional Responsibility/Liability

Agree with jgKRI. Send a letter to the hospital's CEO/President/Whatever, give them two weeks to get it taken care of, and if they don't, send a copy to the local code enforcement office.

Please remember: we're not all guys!

RE: Professional Responsibility/Liability

Quote (wroggent)

Why do they not want to update the settings?

I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say it has something to do with $$$$$$

RE: Professional Responsibility/Liability

I'd contact an attorney that handles professional liability cases. It might be costly, but the hospital must know that you are placing them on notice which protects you (maybe) ahead of time having done all you can to alert them of this danger.

RE: Professional Responsibility/Liability

Thank you all. I contacted a maintenance person and am meeting with them next week to discuss and explain the settings. I will document the meeting, follow it up with an email about tme meeting and the specific actions discussed and timetable.

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